Lady Lions Dominate Wagner
After dropping six consecutive games, the Penn State Lady Lions (2-6 overall) were looking for a victory any way they could get one. Sloppiness reigned supreme in this matchup against the Wagner Seahawks (0-7 overall) at the Bryce Jordan Center, but the Lady Lions were able to pull away late in the first half and never looked back.
Despite leading for nearly the entire contest, the Lady Lions struggled mightily to garner any success on the floor against a far inferior Wagner team in the first half. Penn State turned the ball over eight times in the first half alone and missed eight easy layups through the first ten minutes, allowing the Seahawks to hang around in the opening frame.
As poor as Penn State was holding onto the ball, Wagner was far worse on the offensive side of the ball, turning the ball over an unprecedented 14 times in the first half. This was, at least in part, due to the pressure that the Lady Lions put on the Wagner ball handlers throughout the entire half.
These turnovers resulted in the Lady Lions pulling away late in the first half, as the defense continued to clamp down, stretching their lead to as large as 17 at one point. In fact, despite the slow start, the Lady Lions ended the first half on a 16-5 run.
Defensively, the Lady Lions finally found a set that seemed to work for them all game. The team has struggled mightily to find a five-player lineup that has balanced scoring and defense. Head coach Coquese Washington understands that this season will be a struggle to find consistency.
“We’re still young and we’re still finding combinations that play well together. We started one lineup and pretty quickly went to a smaller lineup that worked,” said Washington.
Although the Lady Lions missed numerous easy shots, the team did shoot nearly 44-percent from the field in the first half. Penn State was paced by freshman guard Lindsey Spann with 18 points in the first half on 7-12 shooting, including 2-5 from beyond the arc.
On the other side, Wagner was guided by junior guard Jordyn Peck, who was 6-8 from the field, all from beyond the three-point line. She finished the first twenty minutes as the game’s leading scorer with 20 points.
The second half, however, was a completely different story, as the Lady Lions were simply on point from the opening throw in. The Lady Lions’ offense clicked tremendously in the second half, scoring more than 50 points in the final 20 minutes, pulling away from a Wagner team that held tough for a majority of the first half.
The team as a whole shot significantly better in the second half, hitting nearly 63-percent of their shots taken.
Spann added just four points in the second half, as she took on more of a facilitator role in the final 20 minutes. Despite just the two buckets in the second half, she still led the Lady Lions in scoring with 22 points.
Although Spann had herself a terrific outing in the contest, Washington was even happier with her team’s performance as a whole. She realizes that the Lady Lions cannot be a one-woman team this year.
“We want to be a team, we have to be a team that has a balanced attack. We can be a team that’s inconsistent at times… It’s good that we can look to other people when somebody is not quite as hot, not getting as many looks,” said Washington.
For the Seahawks, Peck continued to shoot well despite her team falling into a deeper hole throughout the second half. She led all scorers in the contest with 27 points, shooting nearly 50-percent from beyond the arc.
As the final buzzer sounded, the Lady Lions picked up just their second victory of the season, defeating the Seahawks of Wagner by 30 points, 96-66.
The Lady Lions will be back in action this Wednesday, as they head on the road for another non-conference matchup with Hartford University. The next home game will be in one week, as the team will take on the Rider Broncos.
Tyler Zulli is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email Tzull34@gmail.com.